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04/19/2007


Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman Explains Why She Changed Her Mind on Same-Sex Marriage

Hewlett-Packard CEO and former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, who signed her name to an amicus brief being filed this week by more than 80 Republican lawmakers and political leaders, explained today in a LinkedIn post her decision to sign the brief opposing Proposition 8:

WhitmanI have come to embrace same-sex marriage after a period of careful review and reflection. As a candidate for governor three years ago, I supported Proposition 8. At the time, I believed the people of California had weighed in on this question and that overturning the will of the people was the wrong approach. The facts and arguments presented during the legal process since then have had a profound impact on my thinking.

In reviewing the amicus brief before deciding to put my signature on it, one passage struck an immediate chord with me. In explaining his own support for same-sex marriage, British Prime Minister David Cameron once said, “Society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. So I don’t support gay marriage despite being a conservative. I support gay marriage because I am a conservative.”

During my business career, I have lived by a philosophy I refer to as “the power of many.” I truly believe that what we can do together, none of us can do alone. By leading from this principle, I have been able to manage thriving organizations that have delivered great results. I believe the same holds true for society at-large. We are simply better when we are bonded together.

Marriage is the fundamental institution that unites a society. It is the single greatest contributor to the well-being of adults and children because it promotes eternal principles like commitment, fidelity and stability. It makes no difference whether the marriage is between a man and woman or a woman and woman. Marriage makes society better.

Whitman also outlines the contents of the brief, and in justifying her change-of-mind cites President's Obama's decision to come around in support of marriage equality last year.

Continued, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Prop 8 Plaintiffs File Supreme Court Brief. So Do Republicans! Is President Obama Next?

BY ARI EZRA WALDMAN 

644407_10100456807515887_2062309360_nLast week, the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the organization running the federal challenge to Prop 8, submitted its brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Hollingsworth v. Perry. The brief, written by Ted Olson and David Boies (or, more accurately, their associates), is a talisman to equality. It is a testament not only to the justice of our cause -- the cause of the freedom to marry -- but to its place in the American legal tradition. It also puts pressure on President Obama, an avowed supporter of our community and our right to marry, to get involved in the case.

All legal briefs are stories. You are trying to prove that your client's version of reality is the reality, and this is something that the Olson and Boies team did remarkably well. They make the freedom to marry seem so logical, so natural, so much in line with the American progressive tradition.

The amicus brief filed by more than 75 prominent Republicans tells a different story, taking a unique path to the same destination. For these Republicans -- including former Utah Governor and candidate for the Republican nomination for President John Huntsman, former George W. Bush adviser Ken Mehlman, and Republican Congresspersons Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Richard Hanna (R-NY) -- recognizing the freedom to marry for gay Americans is part of the same legal tradition that gave us the much loathed-by-progressives Citizens United.

Both briefs are worth discussing at length. Look forward to columns dedicated to each. For now, I would like to summarize their analyses briefly and argue two things:

First, the presence of AFER's vision and the arguments of Governor Huntsman et al. at the Supreme Court make it almost impossible for the Obama Administration not to get involved. To sit on the sidelines, even if all the President does is repeat the arguments offered by AFER and this small group of Republicans, would put him behind the very vanguard he has been leading for some time. Second, the presence of several Republicans as signatories -- including the very recently pro-Prop 8 and candidate for California governor Meg Whitman -- suggests either that the world is changing even faster than we thought or that the Republican leadership is taking a craven approach to the codswallop it has been serving to its homophobic base. Politicians who actually hate and want to discriminate are bad enough; those who don't care and adopt the position of hate just to achieve power are indefensible.

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Watch: Meg Whitman Endorses Jerry Brown for Governor

Whitman

After hitting Meg Whitman hard for aping Schwarzenegger, Whitman gives Jerry Brown the biggest endorsement of his campaign.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Watch: Meg Whitman is Arnold Schwarzenegger

Brown

Jerry Brown's latest ad against Meg Whitman uses her own, and Schwarzenegger's words, against her.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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News: Isaac Katz, Bloomberg Won't Dignify Paladino's Remarks, And GOP Tequila Shots

Obamastreaker Towlesmall Isaac Katz, son of Jonathan Katz, the Washington University professor whose essay, "In Defense of Homophobia" got him booted from the government's oil spill team, has come out of the closet: "When I told my dad I was gay, his immediate response was, "No, you're not." (My mom, by the way, was and is more supportive.) When my insistence finally overrode his denials, he echoed his online essay that I should deny who I am rather than to engage in an act so abhorrent as to love another man... To me, though, it is undeniable that removing him from the team for reasons unrelated to his scientific knowledge, academic credentials or intellectual capacity was a mistake."

Towlesmall The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund has named "Ten Races to Watch," which means the candidates are LGBT and could use a little boost.

Towlesmall President Obama and Joe Biden's rally in Philadelphia was quite a scene: first there was a streaker, and then someone threw a book at the President's head. Guess which one was arrested? [Answer: the streaker.]

Towlesmall New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, suddenly infamous for his gay "brainwashing" remark, has some allies. Unfortunately, they're people like anti-gay activist Bryan Fischer, who thinks believes everything Paladino said "is so true and so evident and so obvious that the real controversy here is that there is any controversy at all."

Towlesmall New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg does not approve of Carl Paladino's remarks, saying, "[His speech is] not what America stands for and it's not what New York stands for, and I won't dignify it with anything else." The Mayor was then asked whether he thinks Paladino's fit to serve, to which Bloomberg replied, "I don't think I want to dignify comments like he's made, and I'll leave it at that." That's saying enough...

Towlesmall Will future generation of smart phones be "squishy?"

Chadallen-1Towlesmall  Actor Chad Allen has a message for coming out day: "I have long held the belief that those of us who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender have been given an extraordinary gift. We are forced to go inside ourselves and determine, once and for all, that we are good. If we have anything at all to give the world, we are going to find it somewhere along that journey."

Towlesmall Diana Ross also has something to say about "coming out."

Towlesmall Sarah Palin hinted at a White House run this weekend, when she compared herself to another "unelectable" politician, Ronald Reagan. She also invoked the conservative icon in a message for Carly Fiorina: "This is still Reagan Country," she said of California.

Towlesmall Congratulations Joe Jervis for winning the Ali Forney Center Advocate Award.

Towlesmall Authorities describe a fire at a gay bar in Knoxville, Tennessee, as "suspicious."

Towlesmall Speaking of Carly Fiorina, the California Senate candidate spent some of her weekend downing tequila with Latino voters and another Republican candidate, Meg Whitman, who's running for Governor. Yes, beer on blue-collar "Main Street" and tequila with Latinos: the tradition of getting drunk with constituents just gets better and better...

Towlesmall Sjp-1 European Union officials say that Serbia's "failure" to prevent anti-gay riots during pride this weekend may hinder its chances at joining the Union. The United State embassy, meanwhile, praised Serbian authorities for protecting gay rights marchers.

Towlesmall Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud, the Saudi prince accused of murdering his servant and alleged lover, had an erotic massage just three days before the incident - yes, with a male masseuse - say witnesses at his trial, where he denied being gay.

Towlesmall Sarah Jessica Parker left the option of a third Sex and The City movie open...

Towlesmall Take a first look at Glee's homage to Rocky Horror, guest starring John Stamos.


Watch: Equality California Ads Against Meg Whitman, Steve Cooley

Whitman

Equality California takes on GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and attorney general candidate Steve Cooley in two new ads.

Writes journalist Rex Wockner in a tip to us: "Better late than never, EQCA learns to play the hardball TV-ad game. Nobody ever said this game is pretty, but if you want to stop losing, you need to play the game that actually exists, not the 'freedom-justice-equality-fairness-warm-fuzzies' game you wish existed. This is the first time, that I know of, that the gay side has decided to play hardball in TV ads about same-sex marriage. Interestingly, these ads were produced entirely in-house at EQCA: No consultants, no 'experts,' no fear."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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